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  1. Main content
  2. HENNESSEY, Thomas W.
  3. CAIN: Bibliography: 'The Troubles' - Suggested Reading on the Northern Ireland Conflict

Main content

Based on archival sources on recently released material from the National Archives in London and Dublin and the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, it also draws on the wealth of material collected by the Bloody Sunday Inquiry. This book explores the evolution of the Northern Ireland Troubles from an ethno-national conflict into an insurgency against the British state in Northern Ireland in the crucial years of to Categories: Political History , Northern Ireland.


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Description Additional information Description This book explores the evolution of the Northern Ireland Troubles from an ethno-national conflict into an insurgency against the British state in Northern Ireland in the crucial years of to Additional information Weight 0. But neither did they actively try to subvert it The bulk of northern Catholics remained, as they had always been, conservative, clerically-dominated, but utterly constitutional nationalists. James Craig served as Prime Minister for an unbroken period of nineteen years, making this period popularly known as the 'Craigavon era', as he later became 'Lord Craigavon'.

Full employment brought prosperity to all, and agriculture was mobilized for the war effort as well. In British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain 's proposed military conscription in Northern Ireland; he was blocked by a common front of the government in Dublin, northern nationalists, and the Catholic bishops - as well as by the apathy of the Unionist rank-and-file.

HENNESSEY, Thomas W.

By , to reinforce ties with Westminster, to ease unemployment, and to conceal the low level of loyalist enlistments the Stormont government again requested conscription. Winston Churchill rejected the drafting of Irishmen, due to adamant opposition from Dublin and objections from the United States.

However, volunteering for military service was enthusiastic among the Protestants. Northern Ireland was a vital strategic area of control for Britain during the war; its ports compensating for the loss of Ireland's ports under the revised treaty. Americans soldiers made a major economic impact and social. German air raids in April and May, , killed 1, people with over 2, injured; over 50, houses were hit damaged and , people made homeless.

Belfast, a vital industrial city, played a major role in the war providing ships, weapons, ammunition, army clothes, parachutes and a host of other equipment to the war effort.

While Unionists in Northern Ireland were deeply and personally involved in the war effort, the Catholic communities were luke-warm at best. Politics was in turmoil during the war. Craig's death in November led to the unfortunate choice of John Andrews , the minister of finance; he was indecisive and refused to purge the old ministerial "gang.

The lack of preparation for the German air raids of April—May alarmed everyone; other grievances rose from its mishandling of the conscription question, its temporary suspension of Belfast corporation, the upsurge in labour strikes, and the inadequacy of its post-war planning.

The aristocrat Basil Brooke became prime minister, serving Renewed economic growth helped ensure that the s and early s were Northern Ireland's most harmonious and promising years; its post-war experience contrasted starkly with the relative stagnation and isolation of the south. Unionist confidence led to the willingness of some party members to consider reform, as the political system had long been notoriously corrupt and inefficient. Meanwhile, the voting behaviour of the Catholic minority, its increasing political activism, and the collapse of the IRA campaign of —62 all suggested that Catholics were becoming more reconciled to permanent partition, but they were still angry at the restricted local government franchise, gerrymandering, religious discrimination by government and business, and the inadequacy of state funding for Catholic schools.

The Troubles: A Secret History - Episode 1 (BBC Spotlight)

Brooke's refusal to initiate fundamental reform was due in large part to his concern for Unionist unity. Regarding the Catholics, his strategy was based on the hope that welfare programs and sustained prosperity would eventually dissolve their nationalist aspirations. He retired in Catholics always criticized anti-Catholic policies and resented James Craig's call for "a Protestant parliament for a Protestant people.

The new nation of Ireland officially claimed the whole island but unofficially recognized the existence of the north and did nothing to upset the status quo. However, the anti-treaty IRA forces continued to refer to themselves as the IRA after the civil war concluded, and to consider themselves the legitimate government of Ireland. During the late s, partially inspired by the civil rights movement in the United States , Catholics in Northern Ireland began to protest against perceived discrimination by the government. NICRA's demands included repeal of the Special Powers Act, the end of the paramilitary B Specials police force, an end to the gerrymandering in local elections, and an end to discrimination in terms of government housing and government employment.

Protests typically took the form of marches or other demonstrations.


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  • One of the most important protests took place on January 1, , when a group from the student People's Democracy organisation organized a march from Belfast to Londonderry , intended to imitate Martin Luther King, Jr. The march was repeatedly attacked by unionists People wanting to retain the 'Union' of Northern Ireland with Great Britain , including off-duty policemen. The most intense violence occurred at Burntollet Bridge, where the marchers were attacked by unionists while police did little to intervene.

    The Troubles are generally considered to have begun with civil rights movement and the violent unionist response. Northern Ireland prime minister Terrence O'Neill at first responded favorably to the demands of the protestors, but this attitude was decried by other unionists, including Ian Paisley. Following the violence at Burntollet Bridge, nationalists in the city of Derry began to erect barricades to protect themselves.

    This led to the Battle of the Bogside between nationalists and police prior to a unionist march that was scheduled to pass the nationalist Bogside area of the city. The Battle of the Bogside lasted from August 12 to 14, before British troops were called to resolve the situation.

    In the meantime, fierce rioting broke out in other parts of the country, including Belfast, Newry, and Strabane. In total, 7 people were killed and injured during the unrest in August , and 1, Catholic families and Protestant families were forced from their homes.

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    CAIN: Bibliography: 'The Troubles' - Suggested Reading on the Northern Ireland Conflict

    The Northern Ireland government then requested the presence of British troops throughout the country to keep order. The violence of the Troubles peaked during the early s, spurred by an influx of recruits to various terrorist organisations, including the republican IRA and the loyalist Ulster Defence Association and Ulster Volunteer Force. A number of events combined to widen the divide between the nationalist and unionist communities.

    For nationalists, these included the Falls Curfew of July , in which British troops cordoned off nationalist neighborhoods in Belfast, not allowing residents in or out of the area; 4 nationalists were killed in fighting between British troops and the IRA.

    The introduction of internment without trial in August was viewed by nationalists as discriminatory, as of the first people interned were nationalists.

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